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May flowers are finally here, but some Canadian gardeners have been finding a growing mystery in their yards.

Blossoming mystery: Canada 150 tulips sprout orange petals


Caroline Floyd
Meteorologist

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7:20 PM - May flowers are finally here, but some Canadian gardeners have been finding a growing mystery in their yards.

A year after they were initially announced, some of the special red-and-white 'maple leaf' tulips - developed as a tribute to the flag as to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday - are finally starting to open.

And they're orange.

London gardener Jane Antoniak told the London Free Press she thought the blooms would be "a nice way to participate in the 150th," and was dismayed when the majority of the bulbs she planted last fall sprouted orange petals. Of the 50 bulbs she planted, only 6 came up red and white.

Antoniak said she'd received an email reply from Home Hardware - the official supplier of the bulbs - saying they were investigating complaints from customers who were reporting similar results with the flowers and acknowledged that some of the plants "do not look as advertised."

Speaking to the London Free Press, one Home Hardware owner said that they'd received a relatively low ratio of complaints to bulbs sold, but they were still eager to correct the problem for customers. An elementary school in Dorchester reported the 100 bulbs they'd purchased for the school produced only pink and yellow flowers. Others have reported the buds have failed to open at all, leaving only a mass of green foliage.

The blossoms were developed by a Dutch grower, commissioned by the Government of Canada especially for the sesquicentennial. Ottawa plans to showcase 30,000 of the blooms during the celebrations this year.

The Netherlands traditionally sends tulip bulbs to Ottawa each year, to commemorate Canada's role in liberating the Netherlands during the second world war.

Sources: London Free Press

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